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preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) Dork
12/5/21 8:12 a.m.

I'm with KY and Duke.

Summer:

2007 Cayman S 6spd.

Winter:

2012 Golf R

 

Both are about 1:10 whp:pound, both get out of their own way. The Cayman has been across country 5 times, the R has only been on a 200mi one way trip. Both are very comfortable to drive distances. The Cayman has been 13.5 in the 1/4 and I have yet to get the R there. Both hold plenty of groceries or luggage.

Con: gas mileage and >$4/gal for premium. On my 17mi each way commute the Cayman averages about 21mpg and the R is less, both in part to how I drive them for sure. 

When a certain 70s styled EV pickup comes out I will think about buying a commuter daily driver but until then, no.

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
12/5/21 9:01 a.m.

I don't need power so much as I need an engine that's fun to use, that isn't completely gutless. A lot of engines meet that requirement, with a well tuned turbo 4 with a punchy mid range being a good balance of power and efficiency.

Manual transmission because I like rowing gears at pedestrian speeds.

Smooth ride, as in not "buzzy", but I do prefer my suspension on the firm side.

Good *cloth* seats that are supportive with good bolstering and adjustable lumbar; Recaros not required, just decent sport seats.

Buttons, knobs, and switches for interior controls. Touch screens are fine for functions that aren't used on every drive.

Four or five doors now that I have kids.

At this time it looks like my best option is the Civic Si, maybe the Corolla GR when we get it. Used to be that the GTI/R was the perfect fit but the interior ergonomics are a complete disaster now. Four door Minis make my eyes bleed. The new 86 looks like I can forgive it's small back seat and squeeze my kids back there anyway.

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody UltimaDork
12/5/21 10:03 a.m.

In reply to MrFancypants :

That describes the Elantra GT I drove a few weeks ago. I really liked the way it drove, and how revvy that 2.0L engine was. Sometimes you sit in a car and it just fits

 

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
12/5/21 10:13 a.m.

I missed a big criteria for me in my list earlier.  Not FWD.  I don't mind driving FWD cars, but I hate DD-ing them, especially in winter.  The inability to put down power well in a turn from a stop with most FWD cars drives me crazy.  And I can't stand FWD in snow, as accelerating shouldn't reduce your steering ability to near-zero. 

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody UltimaDork
12/5/21 10:17 a.m.

It's almost like you guys didn't notice.

He asks what makes the perfect daily driver, then posts a pic of that nice big gold bowtie.

The answer was there all along!

stroker
stroker UberDork
12/5/21 10:20 a.m.
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

Minimum of 30mpg, 40+ even better. Enough utility to fit the occasional large item. Reliable enough to take for granted and easy enough to work on that when something does need attention that you're not trying to figure out how much it would cost a shop to do it. 

Plus inexpensive parts and low insurance.

 

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
12/5/21 11:27 a.m.
Mr. Peabody said:

In reply to MrFancypants :

That describes the Elantra GT I drove a few weeks ago. I really liked the way it drove, and how revvy that 2.0L engine was. Sometimes you sit in a car and it just fits

 

Ooooh right, I forgot about the Hyundais. I bet the Elantra GT or Veloster N would be nice.

Growl_R
Growl_R New Reader
12/5/21 12:51 p.m.

Golf R - end of descussion :)

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
12/5/21 1:39 p.m.

Easy things like I go to start, you start. I stop, you stop. I go, you go. All the while, I don't have to work on you every week for "something ", nor thousands to make it drivable again reliably. I really don't care about mpgs because it's getting me places I need to go. Comfort? I like ac especially now living south of the Mason Dixon line. I don't require pleather or most of the safety nannies.

This is why I bought a new new car.

h2000wt
h2000wt New Reader
12/5/21 2:05 p.m.

What makes the best daily driver? Today I think the car (or truck if needed) has to be affordable, good looking, comfortable,  fun (enough), economical to run and have enough toys installed to keep you happy.  I also think it should have been made for a number of years as I believe that ends up a better (more reliable) car.  And since I'm in Florida, cloth seats help. 

In my case, I ended up most recently with a Challenger SXT.  It makes my wife happy and it did much better at VIR than I thought it would. Plus left car funds in the bank for that in progress toy that isn't a practical daily driver. 

Here's the thing.  When I was young, everything, from Europa, X1/9, Datsun 2000 (no top and winter) and all the different RX's were daily drivers. Maybe the best daily driver is the one that offers the most fun and the least practicality you can stand. 

trakktapedude
trakktapedude New Reader
12/5/21 2:11 p.m.

I think a big pivot is whether or not you get stuck in commuter traffic a lot. I have lived in Palm Springs, CA for a very long time and have never had a bad commute.

I had Miatas from when they first came out and for 18 years after. I am 6'3 and found the NA cars to be great on the open road. On center steering sensitivity is a big deal with Mazda and lack of it contributes a lot to mental tiredness.  I have had a Lotus Elise as my daily driver for 15 years now and still love it. A trip to Walmart is always a mini-GP.  I am never bored and am not saving the car for the weekend. Why should I?

As far as longer trips, about 300 miles is as far as I want to drive in a day, regardless of what I am in. On those trips, I try to avoid major roads, exactly the way that I avoid freeways when I am on a motorcycle. The Elise invigorates me in exactly the way a good motorcycle does. It is continually engaging me and I, never, for a moment, forget that I am driving it, exactly like a motorcycle. 

As I get older, I am sure that I may seek a bit more comfort, of course, but as right now, I am 75 and still needing my Elise. If it gets to the point I can't even get in it, then I will get something that is more practical.    

I have always liked manual shift 360 Ferraris. They are a good buy now and the Elise is going up. Yep, a nice yellow coupe should get me well into my eighties, I would think.  

Life is very , very short. Too short to drive boring cars. Merry Christmas everyone!

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
12/5/21 2:35 p.m.

Reliable

Low operating costs

Utility

Fun

Not "nice" enough to worry about, but also not a rolling wreckage.  Have to be able to put my dog in it, or get it muddy, or throw some bulky items in the back without it stressing me out.

 

If I could build my own perfect daily, I would take a hot hatch body and give it a Bolt-like drivetrain, with a torsen, and maybe 50 more hp.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/5/21 3:02 p.m.

For me? 

Something like a Chevy SS, M5, 4-door AMG Merc of some flavor, Audi S5/7, etc. 

4 doors, good-sized trunk, quiet, comfy but with responsive handling, quick/fast, and able to gobble up highway miles. 

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
12/5/21 4:52 p.m.

Utility would be 1st on the list. Something I can climb in and do anything from a Lowes run to dinner in town, a job site visit to a camping trip in the woods, or a drive to the other side of the country to pick up some strange machine. That means I'm driving a truck of some description and it's going to be 4WD. The current Ridgeline is a perfect mix of car/truck.

Reliability. I don't want to put it in the shop for anything beyond routine maintenance. Ever. That's why I got rid of my Silverado. 

Automatic. I'm on the road in traffic too much to deal with a manual. 

Decent power. I don't want to be constantly flogging it to run with traffic. Slow car fast is not fun during rush hour. 

SafetyFast
SafetyFast New Reader
12/5/21 6:38 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I find that a certain 01 Miata LS2 habu fits that requirement quite well!

MGS10
MGS10 New Reader
12/5/21 11:54 p.m.

It's my Honda Civic Sport hatch with a 6 speed.  Easy on fuel, practical, quick acceleration, handling good enough you can't find the limit on roads anywhere near the speed limit and comfortable.  If you were to rate it on its attributes except looks it would be a 7/10 at everything, just a good so around car.  I could find another car that was better at one or two things but at a cost to everything else

fasted58
fasted58 MegaDork
12/6/21 12:31 a.m.

Showing my progression to old guy status.

From S197, yea it was fun but became cumbersome driving in work boots. It became a toy.

335xi was awesome, even in winter with Altimax's. Normal BMW depreciation and adddded maintenance was killing it. Had to get out.

Traded for a '16 Regal AWD Premium II. Nicely laid out w/ creature comforts. Heated seats will roast yur ass out. Bose, blind spot mirrors etc , cruises nice on the interstate. Not a sleeper like the E92 but good enough, I'm over that. (I really wanted an AWD GS but none to be found)

I've retired since then but still love my Buick comforts. Have mid-sized 4x4 truck for deep snow... but then I don't really need to leave the yard if I don't want to.

 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
12/6/21 1:27 a.m.

Enough room to haul the family, enough cargo room for camping, tailgating, moving car parts, getting a full pallet of mulch or soil, the ability to tow a car, and the ability to go off pavement without a care in the world.  Yah I'm a 4WD truck kinda guy.  Anything else just won't cut it based on all the different ways I drive each day.  
 

Now I'd love to have a 6 spd Chevy SS for pavement long trips and general musclecar mayhem.  It's even be awesome for going to work, but there is so much it can't do.

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
12/6/21 7:15 a.m.

Comfortable seats, good on the highway for 5 or 50 mile treks, good space, decent handling, space for hauling junk in the back, good shifter. Honda Fit gets my vote. I'm on my second now. First was an 07 sport and now I'm in a 17 base 6 speed.

stroker
stroker UberDork
12/6/21 7:37 a.m.

Okay, so what I'm hearing in all the previous equals Maserati BiTurbo....

 

cheeky

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
12/6/21 8:11 a.m.

Utter dependability, and lowest $/mile with modern safety standards and comfort. As I learned driving my 88 Accord 80 miles per day, it was cheap, but I felt like I was shell shocked at the end of a ride.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/6/21 8:27 a.m.

It varies... which is why I have multiple cars.

When I worked in NJ, my commute involved a lot of back-roads through central NJ = "Deer Country".  It's not a matter of "if" you'll hit a deer, but "when".  I was lucky and only hit one, and it was a fawn, but it still did some damage.  So with that in mind, "expendable" was part of the DD criteria.  And comfortable. Reasonably fuel efficient.  And with decent cargo carrying ability.  "Fun" was on the list, but after awhile of driving the same roads day after day, making a non-sporty car try to do sporty things was more fun than driving a sporty car on roads that are only fun at "going to jail" speeds.

Then " secure cargo carrying" became a higher priority for me, so I gave up some of the above for a minivan.  And I honestly haven't looked back.  I still have some "fun" cars for when the urge hits.  The minivan is also tops on the "expendable" part.  If I get nailed in traffic on the PATP, I'll be irritated, but I can basically go to the local Enterprise surplus dealer and buy a duplicate of my current van the same day.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
12/6/21 10:27 a.m.

There are as many answers to this question as there are lifestyles and user requirements.  I only drive a few miles to work every day but it's combat driving in suburban Atlanta traffic, so a Sherman tank would probably be the best tool for the job.  The idea of peacefully eating up miles at interstate speeds on the way to work is a foreign concept to me.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
12/6/21 10:28 a.m.

There are as many answers to this question as there are lifestyles and user requirements.  I only drive a few miles to work every day but it's combat driving in suburban Atlanta traffic, so a Sherman tank would probably be the best tool for the job.  The idea of peacefully eating up miles at interstate speeds on the way to work is a foreign concept to me.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
12/6/21 10:28 a.m.

There are as many answers to this question as there are lifestyles and user requirements.  I only drive a few miles to work every day but it's combat driving in suburban Atlanta traffic, so a Sherman tank would probably be the best tool for the job.  The idea of peacefully eating up miles at interstate speeds on the way to work is a foreign concept to me.

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